Hush hush Usher: Nice and Slow singer berates fan in Hackney for prodding into his private life

14:34 19 June 2012

Usher speaking at Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Academy in Hackney - www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/hackney

Usher speaking at Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Academy in Hackney - www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/hackney

Archant

Organisers of the Radio 1 Hackney Academy wanted to keep it hush-hush when American superstar R&B artist Usher was set to make a surprise appearance at the Picturehouse in Mare Street on Tuesday night.

They feared if word got out the Nice and Slow singer was in the borough, the streets would be swamped with adoring fans.

It looked as though he might never turn up, but the packed audience in the Hackney Picturehouse unanimously agreed the hour-long wait to see Usher was worth it.

The phenomenal American R&B singer came to Radio 1’s Hackney Academy with one clear mission – to inspire and help the young people there to realise their life goals.

The 33-year old whose real name is Usher Terry Raymond IV has a string of platinum albums including Confessions from 2004 which sold over 10 million copies in the US.

DJ Trevor Nelson, who has known Usher since he was his first-ever interview guest on MTV UK’s longest running show The Lick in 1998, was an appropriate host for the packed question and answer session.

“They flied you across the globe man to make cupcakes in my house, we are friends man,” said Usher to Trevor.

“His talent the reason I’m still talking to him, if he wasn’t so good he wouldn’t be here 30 years after he started,” replied Trevor.

Adeline in the audience asked him what he would change if he could change one thing in his music career.

“Why would I change anything?” he told her, as the crowd erupted into laughter.

One cheeky member of the audience called Aisha asked him whether his single Climax related to any personal affairs.

“No offence but I’m not going to answer that question,” he said, pausing.

“I’m not going to answer that question because that’s not why I’m here. You need to understand the seriousness of why you are here.

“If you want to read all the facts about my life, there are more than enough facts online but that’s not why we are here, that’s not why I’ve taken the time out to come and speak to you, I want to encourage you all to do something positive,” he went on.

“The purpose and point of this incredible exercise is really to prepare you to be the future of whatever you want to be, whether it be an entertainer, rapper, if you want to pursue college or a career whatever it may be, this is the opportunity and they have provided you with an eye to see forward.

“You may not understand the value of it, you may not understand how important this moment will be to your life’s goal but you really should take it serious.

“You could be the next Trevor Nelson. I don’t know if you could be the next Usher, or Trevor actually, but I will say this. You can’t set a goal for yourself and hopefully you’ll make it.”

Usher has his own charitable foundation in America, Usher’s New Look Foundation, which shares very similar values to what Radio 1 want to achieve in the Hackney Academy – inspiring young people to achieve their potential.

Usher signed teen superstar Justin Bieber to his record label in 2008 when he was just 14-years old, before he reached worldwide fame.

He was asked how important it is to put your talent “out there” at a young age.

“The whole point is being able to recognise that talent at a very young age, to perfect it and to create at least a confidence, so that if I did walk into a show I can say I can sing and I’d like to sing for you which is exactly the way I met Justin,” he said.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, August 28, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn.

A disposable coffee cup used by Jeremy Corbyn as sold in an online auction for £51.

Friday, August 28, 2015
She was playing with her family in Hanworth Park when she was hit by the pellet that could have killed her (Photo: Google StreetView)

The little girl was running from her mother to her grandfather in Hanworth Park when they heard a loud noise like an air rifle shot.

Police say she could have been killed.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Police are investigating a rape in Park Road on Sunday

A crime scene has been set up after a woman reported being raped in Muswell Hill in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Dodgy disguise: The men robbed the pawnbrokers dressed all in black

Two men who dressed in burkas to rob a pawnbrokers in Brixton’s famous Atlantic Road have been jailed for 20 years.

Friday, August 28, 2015
On second thoughts, just stay at home

We know you’re eager to make the most of the long weekend, so check out our guide to avoid spending it stuck in traffic or at the train station as you try to get around London.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more